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Parental involvement is critical in facilitating children’s development and achievement and in preventing educational and developmental problems. Declining achievement scores, rising educational costs, and distrust of bureaucratic institutions are among the factors which have refocused attention on the rights, responsibilities, and impact of parents.

Benefits to Children

Substantial evidence exists to show that children whose parents are involved in their schooling have significantly increased their academic achievement and cognitive development. The parent-child relationship is improved and parents more frequently participate in the child’s activities.

Parents also increase the number of contacts made with the school
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They are most interested in meetings dealing with educational concerns or personal growth development. Of less interest are meetings dealing with careers, job training, and social services. surprisingly, social and fundraising activities were listed by parents as the least popular form of parent involvement.

Problems in Involving Parents

Researchers found that teachers are sometimes reluctant to encourage parent involvement because they…

-Are uncertain about how to involve parents and still maintain their role as specialized “experts”

-Are uncertain about how to balance their concern for the group of children against a more personalized concern for each individual child, which they believe would expected if parents were more involved.

-Believe parent involvement activities take too much planning time, turn responsibility for teaching over to parents, and are disruptive because parents do not know how to work with children

-Are concerned that parents may use non-standard English or demonstrate other undesirable characteristics

-Question whether parents will keep commitments, refrain from sharing confidential information, and avoid being overly critical

On the other hand, parents complain that the bureaucracy of the schools discourage their involvement and their expression of concerns, complaints, and demands.

Characteristics of Successful Parent Involvement Programs

Despite difficulties, the proven

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